The name Jakes has roots in German culture, but Bishop T. D. Jakes, a prominent American preacher, is no longer prepared to embrace that identity because he is descended from the Igbo tribe in Nigeria, West Africa.
Discovering his lineage has helped the preacher have a deeper understanding of his personality qualities – Igbos are diligent, industrious, and innovative, and these have always been inherent traits Bishop Jakes has demonstrated throughout his life.
Henry Louis Gates, a Harvard professor of African and African-American studies, suggested conducting the test to determine his origins. Since then, the experience has been wonderful not only for Bishop Jakes, but also for other well-known figures such as Oprah Winfrey and Quincy Jones, among others.
According to Punch Nigeria, one of the things the Bishop finds astounding is the fact that, although not being born or nurtured in Nigeria, his intense interest in entrepreneurship is comparable to that of an Igbo guy.Though he is affiliated with religion, he maintains that it is not his sole gift; his strong commercial acumen has helped him to establish various corporate interests and assets.
Bishop Jakes was born Thomas Dexter James Sr. on June 9, 1957, in South Charles, West Virginia, and grew up in Vandalia, West Virginia. Aside from his religion work, he is an author and filmmaker with a net worth of $20 million. In 1982, he began serving as a pastor at Greater Emmanuel Temple Faith, which had only 10 members.
He eventually joined the Christian organization High Ground Always Abounding Assemblies in 1988 until he went to South Charleston, West Virginia, to plant his church with a congregation of 300 people. When he relocated across Lanes, West Virginia, his inventive shepherding increased the size of his church to 1,100 people.
With his foothold consolidated in ministry, he extended his attention to the publishing and media space in 1995. The firm, TDJ Enterprises, ventured into the publishing of books, and is also responsible for producing movies.
Bishop Jakes has produced a number of movies through his company TDJ Enterprises, including “Woman Thou Art Loosed” (2004), “Not Easily Broken” (2009), “Jumping the Broom” (2011), “Munya” (2010), “Sparkle” (2012), “Heaven Is for Real” (2014), “Winnie Mandela” (2014), “Miracles from Heaven” (2016), and “Faith Under Fire” (2018).
From 1995 to 1996, he also dabbled in radio broadcasting, hosting his own “Get Ready” radio and television show. He attempted to strike a business deal with CBS Television Distribution, Dr. Phil McGraw, and Jay McGraw in 2009, but he was unsuccessful.
With that knowledge in hand, he went on to launch his own show in collaboration with Tegna, Inc., and Denmar-Mercury, which has coverage in over 50 locations. The show lasted two years before being cancelled due to low viewership. In 1996, he decided to go big with his faith business by establishing The Potter’s House, a non-denominational church in Dallas, Texas. According to celebrity net worth, his church grew to over 14,000 members in 1998.
His children have also begun to study more about Igbo culture and ancestry since DNA testing revealed their father’s lineage to the Nigerian tribe. In recent years, the Bishop has traveled to Nigeria more frequently to learn about his people and culture.
His favorite dishes are fufu and jollof rice; despite the fact that the meals are hot and spicy, he enjoys them. Memories and memories told by his great-grandmother when he was 10 years old, as well as recollections of slavery, have been accumulating for the Bishop.
Another thing that jumps out for him is how his identity has influenced how he decorates his home, which is filled with African art. In his opinion, the idea that Africa is a poor and backward continent is just the opposite.
Bishop T. D. Jakes believes he has reclaimed a piece of himself that has been lost for a long time. It is the soul that unites with the countless slaves abducted from various parts of Africa. Their fortitude was the reason they survived the tragedies and brutal torture meted out to them.